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I am not a coffee drinker. But I do love me some good hot cocoa. And, although here in Phoenix we are still waiting for some nice chilly weather to go with the holidays, the evenings have been cool enough for me to enjoy a Hot Cocoa Bomb here and there. Right now we are in full swing getting ready for the annual Ugly Sweater Express hosted by my DIL's family each year, where we will be selling hundreds of Hot Cocoa Bombs! As I write this post, I am sipping on my newest flavor or Cocoa Bomb, Gingerbread!
If you haven't had a chance to go to our Etsy shop yet, you should go. That is where you can download your own copy of our booklet telling you all about how to make Hot Cocoa Bombs! We have a bunch of flavors besides original Hot Cocoa. We have Peppermint, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Salted Caramel, Cherry Cordial, Cinnamon, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Covered Strawberry and now this year we are adding Gingerbread!
Because Gingerbread has molasses in it, I added brown sugar to the chocolate mixture that goes inside. Brown sugar has molasses in it, I suggest dark brown sugar for the best flavor. I did this because I have learned from experience that liquids do not do well inside of a Hot Cocoa Bomb. Next, I put in cinnamon, ginger and cloves. I put in quite a bit of the ginger and cloves for that extra little tangy kick that you get from gingerbread. I wanted to find gingerbread men marshmallows, but I haven't seen any yet, but I did find some gingerbread man sprinkles to decorate with! Click on the picture gallery to see how to drink these delicious treats!
Sitting and drinking a cup of hot cocoa is a real stress reliever for me. Getting ready for the craft show and getting my son ready for his mission are just a couple of the things that are keeping me busy. Thinking about de-stressing with a Hot Cocoa Bomb is what inspired me to come up with this little printable sign to hang in my kitchen for the holidays. You can get your own copy of it by subscribing to our blog! Within a week we will send you the link to our exclusive subscriber's free printables page where you can download your own copy!
In order to make the frame, I found these great wooden pine plaques at Michael's for under $3!
Remember, Hot Cocoa Bombs make great gifts! If you aren't in Phoenix where you can come and buy them from me this weekend, try making them yourself! You can purchase the molds on Amazon.
Or for Christmas, these are super cute. They have little Christmas character faces on them. Alicia's MIL, Patricia, took some pictures for us after we made some with Alicia's mold.
You could even put together a Hot Cocoa Bomb kit with a mold, our booklet, some chocolate chips, Nesquik and Marshmallows! You could even add the printable above and some mugs while you are at it.
And while you are visiting our Etsy shop, you will see a few other things to strike your fancy, like "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" printable and Tea Towel that Alicia just added yesterday!
So, make some Cocoa Bombs, subscribe and get a new free printable, give some gifts and enjoy yourself through it all!
PS- There are still a few days left to get your advent calendars ready! Here are some of the ideas we've shared!
Do you recognize the Nintendo System above? It is the original NES that came out back in the 80's I believe. My kids pinched and saved and I matched their savings at a certain point and we purchased this system many years ago. It came with Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt. We still have that system, packed away and in tact. But, since then we have had (or my son has had) N-64, GameCube and the Wii. Mario and Luigi have been a part of our lives for a long time! Since today is Mar 10, it is unofficially recognized as Mario Day, because when you push "Mar" and "10" together, it looks like it spells "Mario"! So, today's Friday Fave question is...
What is your favorite Mario Game?
1. I will go first! My favorite Mario game is MarioKart for the Wii! When I first started playing this one, I was terrible at it. I always died on Rainbow Road and on almost every other road as well. But, I got better and better at it until I was able to beat people on the World Wide connection! I have to admit, I was a little addicted to this game for awhile. (It was embarrassing to my children.) I loved being Princess Peach. Whenever she would shoot someone with a shell or pass them on the road, she would look back and say in her high little voice, "Ha Ha!". It made me laugh every time. I stipulate for the Wii because I am not so great at it with the control pad. I like using the Wii steering wheel. I am a little disappointed that Nintendo doesn't support the World Wide connection anymore on the Wii. But, it is still fun to play against my kids, who can all still beat me.
2. Now we are going old school because Madalynn surprised me and chose this original Super Mario Game for the original NES! We were always way behind when it came to updating to the new game systems. We usually ended up getting them when they were about ready to come out with the next big thing. So, even though Madalynn is one of the younger siblings, she remembers playing this and how much fun it was back then. Getting Mario to land at the top of the pole at the end of a level was so exciting! The old system and the games are still available on Amazon!
3. Lindsey chose a game that we all loved. I almost picked this one as well, Dr. Mario! My kids are so good at this game, it is unreal. I could never beat them, but I kept trying! (I think I have mentioned in this post how competitive we tend to be about game playing.) When Lindsey was in college, some friends were having a tournament and "let" her play, warning her that they were all really good and she might not be able to keep up. Wrong thing to suggest to Lindsey. She wiped them all out. This game is really challenging, but there are tricks to it and you have to be quick. We would have big tournaments when everyone was home. I don't know if we ever chose a grand champion, but LIndsey and her older brother, Aaron were really competitive against each other and are contenders for the title!
4. Alicia chose in the same vein as Madalynn by picking Super Mario Bros, only for the Wii U. The graphics are so much better, of course, and the Wii U is so much fun! I feel like it hasn't taken off like it should have because having that little private screen really adds a new element to the games. Son Tyler and his wife Jessica have one and we have all enjoyed getting everyone together and playing on the Wii U. Plus, making your Mii on the Wii U is totally cool as well because you actually take a photo of yourself and the Wii uses that image to create your Mii from that. It is hilarious!
5. This week's guest Fave picker is Adrian Maruri, my son-in-law, and Alicia's husband. (He is the one that shared the delicious Ecuadorian Recipes here and here.) We had to invite Adrian because we don't know a better connoisseur of video games than he is. He especially loves the old school games and for his pick chose Super Nintendo's Mario Paint. Have you ever heard of Mario Paint? Many people haven't and Adrian says that more people need to be made aware of it. He played this game in his youth and let me tell you, I have seen him in action on it and it is pretty amazing. Not only can you design works of art on this game, but you can write music as well. I have seen Adrian design a tee-shirt design on it, plus he has written music that actually sounded good! Of course, he is an artist and a sound engineer. When I tried to make a line of music on it, it sounded like, well, like I had written it. Budding artists and musicians out there will really enjoy this game. Thanks Adrian for sharing your expertise with us!
What is your favorite Mario game? There are many more to choose from! Maybe you can celebrate Mario Day with a little family fun playing Mario together tonight! Dr. Mario or MarioKart tournaments are a blast! If it is still cold in your part of the world, Hot Cocoa Bombs turned on their sides look a lot like the bullets on Mario games. Just add an eyeball! They can add to the theme of your impromptu party! Sometimes these are the fun moments that everyone remembers later as some of the best family times. We always experience lots of laughter and excitement. Mario games are a fun and lighthearted ways to enjoy each other's company.
On another topic, many people ask me about how I went about starting a blog and how bloggers earn money. I am still working on the earning money part, but the two resources listed below have helped me tremendously to get as far as we have on our blog. Weebly makes it easy to start a blog, I recommend the Starter package to begin because then you can blog as often as you want. I have been really happy with their customer service. Share-a-sale is a way to team up with affiliate marketers whose products you like. They give all kinds of tips and ideas to new bloggers as well. So, if you have a desire to get your thoughts out there, these are two great resources.
There are just a few days left until Valentine's Day, and you want to do something special for your family? Well, there is plenty of time to whip up this table runner for that special day. This one is reversible so you can use it any time of year!
There is something so romantic and beautiful about toile fabric. The pastoral scenes depicted on the fabric conjure up sweet stories in the imagination. Toile fabric originated in Ireland in the mid-18th century and quickly became popular in Britain and France. France adopted the fabric as its own and that is where the word "toile" comes from. The fabric has gone in and out of popularity since that time with the most recent surge in use in the year 2000. I have loved toile for a long time. That is why when I saw this fabric in the Walmart fabric department, a Waverly fabric, I knew I could use it for the table runner I was wanting to make.
I decided to make it reversible, so this is the fabric I found to back it with.
They go well together!
For my table, I purchased 1 and 1/2 yards of each fabric. You should measure your own table to figure out how much you need. I knew that I wanted to add a pointed drop on each end. Because the fabric is 45" wide, this much fabric will actually make 2 runners, and even some napkins if you would like. That means, you could make one as a gift for someone else!
I started by simply deciding how wide I wanted my runner to be and cut out the entire length that wide. I actually just divided the fabric into thirds and cut it into strips. One of the extra strips was used to make the pointed drop.
Toile has a one-way print, so when you attach the pointed ends, make sure that you match the way the print goes. Be careful when you cut them that you cut one from each end so that you will have a match for each end!
I already had the tablecloth that I used underneath the runner. Here is a similar one that comes in many colors for a good price. I like the layered look, or you can just use it on your table by itself.
Now comes the fun, as I play with the dishes and platters I will use to set a Valentine table. Here are some of the things I will be using!
Mugs from Pioneer Woman! Love! These will be perfect for our Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Hot Cocoa Bombs.
Dishes and a candle holder from Dollar Tree were what I used to make this tiered platter.
I think I found the red pedestal plate in the Target 1 Spot. I knew it would be great to showcase the Hot Coco Bombs!
These are the bare bones of our Valentine's table, next week I will show you how it all turned out and what we ate! Don't be afraid to try the table runner! It is super easy and adds a nice punch to a table setting any time of year.
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to nearly nine and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Read more about us here!
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